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Victoria Duval Interview

03.16.2014

Eighteen-year-old Miami native Victoria Duval was a special guest at the women’s draw tonight for this year’s Sony Open. We caught up with her to get her thoughts ahead of the tournament.

“Last year was incredible,” she said after winning her first-ever match and reaching the second round in 2013. “The crowd really helped me, helped me to get there. And yeah, I’m going to have a lot of family down here, so I’m real excited. My dad came (from Haiti) so that’s exciting.”

Duval drew a wild card entry, and must play a qualifier. If she wins her first-round match, Sam Stosur, whom she beat for her biggest career win in the 2013 U.S. Open, awaits.

“I feel comfortable here, I like the conditions here,” she said. “Just do my best and see what happens.”

And now that she’s no longer a rookie, Duval is also more than comfortable on the Tour.

“Last year was definitely the transition year for me,” she said. “I feel a lot more comfortable now because I’ve been around the girls and I’ve adapted to competing against them and being in their environment. And I turned 18 two months ago, and I think that helped me mature too. It’s a growing process.”

Duval Q&A

On possibly playing Stosur in second round:

“Yeah, it’s different conditions. It’s a bit windy here, and first of all I need to get past the first round (laughs). I’m going to worry about that before I worry about Stosur.”

On playing in hometown of Miami:

“Last year was incredible. The crowd really helped me, helped me to get there. And yeah, I’m going to have a lot of family down here, so I’m real excited. My dad came (from Haiti) so that’s exciting.”

What kind of confidence after winning first match last year?

“I actually lost a close one to Jelena (Jankovic) in the second round. But yeah, I feel comfortable here, I like the conditions here. Just do my best and see what happens.”

How did you end up wearing Venus Williams’ clothing line?

“That was right before the (U.S.) Open. I actually asked her if it was okay if I wore some of her clothes, and she was really excited. And I love them, they’re comfortable and they’re really pretty ... they’re super comfortable and that’s really important when you’re playing.”

Who do you think is the favorite?

“Um me (laughs). Obviously, Serena’s an incredible athlete, incredible player. I’m really excited to see how far I end up here.”

What’s it like when you play these people you’ve seen on TV?

“Last year was definitely the transition year for me. I feel a lot more comfortable now because I’ve been around the girls and I’ve adapted to competing against them and being in their environment. And I turned 18 two months ago, and I think that helped me mature too. It’s a growing process.”

What’s your favorite part about playing here?

“I think the crowd. And there’s a big Haitian population here, and they were really helpful last year.”

So you feel like you have a home-court advantage here?

“Yeah, exactly.”